NDIS opens for business in the ACT

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From 1 July, ACT residents with disability will begin phasing into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) a new way of providing individualised support for people with permanent and significant disability, their families and carers.

NDIS chief executive David Bowen said the ACT rollout is the first whole-of-jurisdiction site a major milestone for the new scheme.

“The NDIS is an exciting new way of providing support to people with disability. Participants will get individualised plans based around their goals and aspirations,” Mr Bowen said.

“The NDIS puts the individual in control of their reasonable and necessary supports and scheme participants will be more involved in their community and in everyday life. This will help boost self-esteem, their independence and foster a more inclusive society.

“Participants and their families can also be supported in education and entering or re-entering the workforce, which will add one per cent to the country’s gross domestic product.”

NDIS ACT trail site manager Jillian Paull said she’s looking forward to helping ACT residents manage and take control of their care and support requirements.

“Initially, the ACT scheme will cover around 5050 people with disability and we are working with the Australian and ACT Governments to ensure transitions are smooth,” Ms Paull said.

“The two-year phasing arrangement will ensure participants are well supported during their transition and they receive the right services to meet their needs,” she said.

“We acknowledge there has been some anxiety and uncertainty around the rollout, as there is with anything new, and we are contacting everyone involved to help them transition.

“It’s an exciting time for ACT residents and I’m looking forward to helping improve support services and care across the ACT, helping to make a difference for people with disability.”

From 1 July, NDIS trail sites also commence in Barkly (NT) and Perth Hills (WA). These sites now join four existing sites in the Hunter (NSW), Barwon (VIC), South Australia (for children aged 13 and under (on 1 July 2014)), and Tasmania (for young people, aged 15 to 24 years).

Visit the NDIS website for more NDIS roll out details.

Additional information

People interested in joining the NDIS can use the My Access Checker – a tool designed to help people with permanent and significant disability understand whether they are able to access the NDIS during the trial period.

My Access Checker is completely anonymous and even if you do not live in an NDIS trail site, you can still complete it to see if you could meet access requirements in future. Completing the My Access Checker should take between 10 and 20 minutes. It’s available on the NDIS website.

The broader Australian community can also be reassured we now have a sustainable support system in place if someone acquires a permanent disability, which hasn’t been the case in the past.